Resilient Stynes on the road to recovery

The incredible highs and crushing lows of professional sport are well documented.

But it’s rare that a player should experience both extremes in the space of just an hour.

And yet Daniel Stynes managed to do exactly that at Glory’s McGillivray Oval training ground a couple of weeks ago.

“At the start of the session, I was presented with my jersey having signed my first professional contract,” he explained, “and that was just a dream come true.

“I’d worked so hard for it, been at the club for so long and to be rewarded like that in front of all the boys was incredible.

“But then the realities of football struck because when I was doing extras at the end of the session working on my left foot crossing, I managed to pick up a 9cm tear in my hamstring tendon.

“It’s a pretty severe injury with a 12-week recovery time.”

While admitting that he was devastated at the time, however, the 19-year-old is now more philosophical and keen to try and look on the bright side.

“I’ve been training and playing for a really long time and probably needed a break’” he said.

“And it also gives me a chance to build up my upper body, get stronger and become more A-League ready, as it were.

“It seems like there’s a big step up in physicality from the NPL to the A-League and I need to be ready for that.

“Kenny [Lowe] has been really supportive and helpful, as has Garc (Richard Garcia).

“It’s a hard one to take, but I’m just getting on with it now.”

Manchester United fan Stynes comes from a footballing family which also contains former Kilmarnock youth team player, Jonathan, who now plays for Floreat.

And he admits that they have a healthy sibling rivalry.

“He still thinks he’s better than me,” he said, “but I’ve got something to say about that now!

“My parents are over the moon for me because they’ve seen the hard work that I’ve put in.

“My mum helped me get through school and made sure that I finished that with a good stature behind me so that I could go on to university.

“They’ve been amazing.”

So as he continues along the long, hard road to recovery, who will the Tapping resident look to for on-field inspiration?

“Mesut Ozil and Kevin De Bruyne are my favourite players,” he revealed. “I’ve tried to style myself on them and not on Chris Harold who just walked past and told me to say that he’s my idol!”

#CREATEDESTINY